Publications

Inspiring change: humanities and social science insights into the experience and management of breathlessness

Durham team members Rebecca Oxley and Jane Macnaughton argue that, in order to treat breathlessness more effectively, we need a greater understanding of how it feels to be breathless and how this experience may be communicated. In particular they explore the differences between the way … Read more…

Breath in the technoscientific imaginary

Here, Durham researcher Arthur Rose explores breath as a theme, metaphor and plot device in Science Fiction. Whether used to convey a sense of anticipation, otherness, or even signify life itself, breath is a common motif in artistic media. Drawing on Fahrenheit 451, Star … Read more…

Breathing and Breathlessness in Clinic & Culture

Our PIs, Jane Macnaughton and Havi Carel have contributed a chapter on breathing and breathlessness to a new book, ‘The Edinburgh Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities’, in which expert contributors from around the world map out the field of the critical … Read more…

Metaphysics and heavy breathing (or Tippett’s Fourth Symphony)

How can art (in this case, music) illuminate human experience? Here project collaborator Toby Young contemplates Tippett’s Symphony No. 4 (1977), a ‘birth to death piece’ which features amplified human breath, most notably at the start and end. Can experiencing the piece help us understand what … Read more…

Means and ENDS – e-cigarettes, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and global health diplomacy in action

Can e-cigarettes (also called electronic nicotine delivery systems or ENDS) help curb smoking or are they just a smoke screen allowing tobacco companies to keep people addicted to nicotine? And how should global policy makers proceed when uncertainty makes agreement impossible? In … Read more…

Epistemic Injustice and Illness

Both patients and doctors complain of problems communicating with each other. Senior investigator Havi Carel and Ian Kidd consider the possible roots of this. In particular, they explore why patients are vulnerable to ‘epistemic injustice’ where their voice lacks credibility due to presumed lack of knowledge, … Read more…

With bated breath: diagnosis of respiratory illness

In this essay, senior investigator Havi Carel recounts her experience of being diagnosed with a rare respiratory condition as a starting point for considering how waiting for and receiving a medical diagnosis affects people’s lives. After perhaps a prolonged period … Read more…

Invisible suffering: breathlessness in and beyond the clinic

In Life of Breath’s first publication, senior investigators, Havi Carel and Jane Macnaughton, and respiratory clinician James Dodd outline the rationale for the project. We have all experienced breathlessness at some point, whether through illness or exertion. Breathlessness is subjective, a very … Read more…